In a major boost to versatile development of Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced 10,000 crore Nepali rupees concessional line of credit to this Himalayan state saying India wants to help Nepal build highways (H), information highways (I) and transways – transmission lines (T).
Offering the financial package for power and road projects, the Prime Minister said he was keen to double power supply to that country.
He said pipelines would be built to help transport oil to Nepal. He said scholarships to students from Nepal would be increased. India would help Nepal emerge as a major exporter of herbal medicines. It would also help develop the tourism potential of Nepal, both as a spiritual, and adventure tourism destination.
Stating that the sooner Nepal comes close to us, the better, he urged that the bridge on the Mahakali river and the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project should be taken up at the earliest.
Noting that it is more expensive to make a telephone call between India and Nepal, than it is to make a call between India and the US, the Prime Minister said he is keen to change this fact.
The India-Nepal border should not be a barrier but a bridge which helps bring prosperity to both sides, the Prime Minister said.
He also offered assistance to Nepal in the fields of organic farming, and soil health.
Dwelling on the shared heritage, the Prime Minister said he belonged to the land of Somnath, began his journey in national politics from Kashi, and had now arrived at the feet of Pashupatinath. This is the land that gave birth to Lord Buddha, who held the whole world spellbound, the Prime Minister remarked.
All the wars that India has won, have witnessed Nepali blood being shed, and Nepalis attaining martyrdom defending India, the Prime Minister observed. ‘I salute the Nepali braves who have laid down their lives for India’, Mr Modi said.
The Prime Minister quoted Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to highlight the bravery of the Gorkha soldiers.
Noting that the world was keenly observing the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, the Prime Minister said that the members of this assembly were not just drafting Constitutional provisions, or rights of different sections of society.
The Constitution of Nepal should be a document like the ‘sanhita’ of Vedas and Upanishads, the Prime Minister said – it should define a new direction for the country. But, the Prime Minister added, ‘Rishi-Man’ – the mind of a sage – is required for this task. The mind which can see far, which can anticipate problems, which can think of taking society forward even a hundred years later.